Live It and Give It! (Zug, Switzerland)- for April 2010
Dance- Worship? Ministry? Outreach?
In continuation with my intention of observing the stories of others these past months, this week is about a “trio of dance”, 3 people who have impressed me on how they have allowed the Lord to use them for His Kingdom purposes in very beautiful, artistic and creative ways! (And to think it’s wasn’t too long ago that all dancing was considered “sinful” within most church cultures…or actually some may still feel that way today……but here I go anyways!)
TRIO OF DANCE:
ACT 1: “ALAN”- I met Alan last year and have admired his faith in putting his life on the line for the Kingdom in how he is GO-ing with God on mission, very much in complete faith. Alan’s is a dancer, a choreographer and a pastor hearted guy who left his job, his home church, basically his overall comfortable “normal life” in Los Angeles to GO and serve God alongside a church plant in Germany. I love the adventure and heart in this guy, even if I think he’s crazy…of course in the best sense of the word. At home, part of his ministry to the Lord from his talents and passion was that of serving with the dance ministry at his home church in LA. But his home church is truly unique in that they have an amazing extensive dance and musical ministry since many from the congregation are professionals who perform in dance, musicals and various productions in Hollywood, LA and elsewhere. Really cool stuff actually, and not something that most churches have access to with such talents in their congregations. And yet, as comfortable and cool as that may have seemed, Alan was called to “GO” and give of himself elsewhere, in a country called Germany, after his heart was touched during a short term mission there. Today, Alan isn’t working with numerous professionals and a large scale structured ministry team, but with local German speaking people who are learning dance (many for their first time) and how to use it as a form or worship and even outreach. Today, Alan is has a place to call “home” while living in an apartment with some roommates and eating food every day which seems normal. But, again that is today, but when this man of faith left his comfortable life in LA several months ago to serve the Lord it was WITHOUT PRE-FINANCIAL SUPPORT and NO GUARATEES OF IT! That’s NOT normal, and totally something I admire in Alan and his story! It hasn’t been easy and still a true adventure of faith, but God has been faithful and along the way has provided Alan’s basic needs every step of the way! Obviously there is much, much more as I didn’t even bring up like the fact that he doesn’t speak German, although the Lord has provided lessons since his arrival as well, but yes, Alan has danced his GO-ing feet for the Lord in special fashion. May the Lord continue to touch hearts through this faithful servant and Follower of Jesus.
ACT 2: “GLEAM JOEL”- I’ll spare you the lengthy e-mail. Joel’s story can be found here: www.stillstandingthemovement.com. By the way, he’s got a musical/concert in Cham on May 21st and 28th with ticket information also on the link. I met Joel about 5 years ago shortly after we started planting LIFT as he was starting a “Hip Hop church plant” west of Zurich. Derek Webster was around at the time and helping Joel get connected with a German speaking Swiss church to be somewhat of the “support church” to Joel’s vision. It’s even funny now again trying to imagine this conservative Swiss (German speaking) church with many mature (a nice way of saying old) congregants coming alongside a foreigner with poor German, but incredibly flowing and rhyming English from Africa who’s vision was to use Hip Hop to reach the younger generation. One of the most profound things I ever heard since coming to Switzerland was Derek sharing at the time about one of these “old Swiss conservative Christian men” who was totally skeptical and against the whole idea of a Hip Hop Church and their church being associated with it. This old man, skeptical as he was, attended a “Hip Hop church service” which was basically a Hip Hop concert with a sermon, and that night afterwards deciding that HE TOO LIKED HIP HOP MUSIC IF THAT’S WHAT IT TAKES TO SHARE THE GOSPLE WITH YOUNGSTERS! About 100 had attended that night and he realized the power of using contemporary means to share Jesus in a relevant and effective manner. Soon after, this old man was that Swiss church’s strongest supporter in gaining others to support this young church plant! That’s a cool story all in itself!
ACT 3: “TEAM FEDOR”- This one is closer to home, right here at LIFT. This isn’t just about a person, but a family of 4 that have been amazing in starting and creating an outreach dance ministry at LIFT that has truly surprised me in how cool it is…..even if is seems so opposite of my own “manliness”. I’ve written about these 18th Century Dance nights before, but truly it is an fun and eventful evening….even for “men” who prefer attending sporting events. K*, alongside husband D* and teens J* and E* have given of their time, talents and abilities to reach out into the Kingdom and not just those at LIFT, but our community of Zug/Zurich/Luzern around us! THERE’S ANOTHER DANCE NIGHT TOMORROW NIGHT, IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO COME AND JOIN….AND BRING A FRIEND! TRUST ME, YOU’L LIKE IT! (….and be LIFTed UP!)
So there you have it, my TRIO OF DANCE of insight and gratitude to others in serving the Kingdom of God; using dance and faith as worship to God and a way of sharing Him with others…….in living and giving their faith away!
In His grip and grace,
Live It and Give It! (Zug, Switzerland)- for April 2010